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The Many Paths of Pagan Activism

You hear about the protests and you'd like to help but you wonder: does the Goddess really need me to face down the cops? Good News: there's more than one way to become involved.

Change Your Mind, Change the World

The first place to start is with Dion Fortune's concept of magic. Magic is "the art of changing consciousness at will." Make the intention to be aware that the world is much more than what we have been taught. It's a well-known phenomenon that when a long-standing sports record is broken (such as the pole vault), it doesn't take long for athletes all over the world to meet or closely approach the new, formerly "impossible" record. Cultural standards and expectations exist because a large enough group of people agree on expectations of what is "normal" and "acceptable." But one person with an idea that is good enough to spread to enough people can change the culture.

We can do this too. The Earth needs our wisdom and ability to see divinity in all things: trees, computers, rivers and subways. And we can make a difference. I have seen how a simple act can blossom: all it took was one friend talking with me about Paganism, planting the seed in my heart and eventually that seed grew.

Call in the Circle

Your connection to the Elements is an excellent starting place for activism. You can consider each of the four elements in turn, and decide on one or more actions you can take to honor each in real life. In this way, you bring your spirituality into everyday life, and activism to your spirituality. The decisions you make on how to honor the Elements should have meaning and depth for you. It is important to find something that you feel joyful doing; this shouldn't be just another chore. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

VII. North: Save the Earth

When you go for a walk, bring one of those plastic grocery bags that always seem to be multiplying in your kitchen, and pick up trash. Reduce the waste you put into landfills by recycling, buying products with the least amount of packaging, and composting. Even apartment dwellers can compost. Try "vermiculture," an odorless means of composting using earthworms in a bin. To find out more, read Worms Eat My Garbage! by Mary Appelhof.

East: Clean the Air

Make the air cleaner in your home by declaring it a "no smoking" zone. If you smoke, consider honoring Air by quitting. Look for ways that your lifestyle is contributing to air pollution and create solutions. If you live in a city, carpool, use public transportation, bicycle, walk or ride-share as much as you can. You can also make yourself more conscious of Air by bringing your attention to it; burn incense or smudge with sage or sweetgrass to honor Air. Open your windows and let Air revive and refresh your living space assuming a non-smog-alert day! When the wind touches your skin, feel the kiss of God/dess. Find out more about the air quality in your area at www.scorecard.org.

South: Use Fire Well

Honor Fire by respecting it; conserve power by turning off lights, buying energy-efficient appliances, installing ceiling fans (you can lower your air conditioning bill by 20%!). Get a fire extinguisher and smoke detector for your home; never leave candles unattended, and volunteer at your next Gathering to stay with the bonfire until it is safely out.

West: Conserve Water

Fresh, clean water is one of the most valuable gifts of God/dess. By conserving water, you honor that Gift. There are many ways to conserve: showers take less water than baths (unless you are able to use the greywater in your garden!) and the new pressurized air toilets flush just as well as the old huge tanks! Drink more water; it is good for you and helps flush toxins from your body. Find out who in your area is targeting water pollution and conservation issues, and join in.

Center Your Practice

What does being a Witch/Pagan mean to you? Why have your chosen this path? For me, at the core of my path is the bone-deep feeling of being connected to, and a part of, all creation. I share this feeling with others by leading Dances of Universal Peace (a form of moving meditation), and I recommend this experience. (You can find dance meetings near you at www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org.) An activist embraces the world and their place in it. On a daily basis, how do you live your values? How does being a Witch/Pagan affect your state of mind and your participation as a citizen? Have fun discovering the answers to these questions - and in finding even more interesting questions to ask yourself along the way.

By: Irish Flambeau is a Peace Witch inspired by the Reclaiming Tradition. (posted with permission)

 

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